Pottery Video of the Week: Tony Clennell Demonstrates How to Pull Great Looking Handles for Pottery



Handle pulling can be one of the most tedious and stressful parts of the functional pottery making process. That’s why many potters choose to handbuild handles for their pottery. And while handbuilt handles have a charm and beauty all their own, sometimes you just want that subtle flow and grace that a well-pulled handle offers.

So today, in an excerpt from his DVD Get a Handle on It, Tony Clennell shares his expert advice on handle pulling. Tony shows us that, with a little practice and patience, great-looking pulled handles are within any potter’s grasp. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



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To learn more about Tony Clennell or to see more image of his work, please visit his blog at http://smokieclennell.blogspot.com/.

For more interesting handbuilding techniques, download your free copy of Five Great Handbuilding Techniques: Variations on Classic Techniques for Making Contemporary Handbuilt Pottery.

  • Millard M.

    Good video! Great explanation.

  • Subscriber T.

    I have been wondering how to make that “backbone” handle cross-section profile, so when I saw the shape of Tony’s thumb and forefinger together, I could compare my own and adjust it!!! And on view #3 I see he is getting in some thumb-tip only pulls on one side, then the other to emphasize the thin edge. I will try it tomorrow, and expect good results. This type of handle is wonderful feeling in use. Thank you so much.
    Magic water huh? Hmm.

  • Lucia W.

    I used to have trouble with the videos, but I switched from using Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox, and now I have no trouble at all.

    Also, the downloading depends on how fast your computer downloads. The fault is not with Ceramic Arts Daily.

  • No video at all in internet explorer 8 but opened firefox and it works great.

    different looking handle with that lozenger at the bottom?
    On a short stout artsy mug they work well.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • Maria M.

    Ooops..by the way..wanted to say I have Never had a problem watching a video. Wonder why so many others do…could it be the connection, the computer??? Sorry guys you sure miss some great stuff. Thanks ever so much CAD !

    “Art concentrates my mind, Liberates my soul and Relieves my pain.”

  • Maria M.

    Not to be rude, but some potters bore me with long drawn out directions that make little or no sense to me. But Tony’s pleasant voice and simple understandable directions make me, for the first time, want to buy books and dvds.I love his ideas, make notes while watching, and feel so inspired I head straight for the studio! Thank you Tony!

  • Margery S.

    never had problems with videos on this page before. can’t hear the sound and have checked everything on my computer. is there a problem with google chrome?

  • Marjorie L.

    For people finding the stop-start nature of the video annoying, it’s best to let it run its course then before it gets to the end put your cursor onto the vid image near the bottom and it will show a line with a marker or button on it, and click on the button and take it all the way back to the beginning of the play line, then let it go. it will run the video without any stops because it has been fully downloaded. I have heard of magic water before, and if you are not sure about it, why not just do a couple of tests and see if it works on your clay. I would like to know what type of clay Tony uses.

  • Susan P.

    These short videos are great – you invariably pick up a tip or two, get a chance to see different potter’s techniques and get some great ideas too! Very worthwhile, thanks.

  • Karen M.

    Usually I don’t have a problem with watching videos but after several times trying to watch this start & stop every few seconds I had to give it up 🙁 so sorry it seemed very interesting!

  • Susan C.

    Learned some new tips about pulling handles; liked the video lots.

  • Carol E.

    There was no video on the page.

  • Betty Ann D.

    I also had problems with the video. It was choppy and the sound came in and out.

  • Virginia C.

    I love the look of the rib down the middle but have never been able to master it—-I’ll just have to keep practicing–perhaps by making a more robust handle! thankyou

  • Diane H.

    why can’t I bring up the video?

  • Ruth W.

    I’m a novice and curious about the no-scoring. I’ve been told you must always score it to ensure strength. So this method works ok?

  • I alway look forward to the videos, I have seen this one before but I think we can always learn something new. Now to perfect a different style, I like the rib down the middle which I don’t normally do.
    Thanks CAD!

    Never Stop Learning!

  • thanks Tony and CAD…making it easier and less stressfull

  • Cynthia L.

    It was fun for me to watch this clip…I love making handles and I learned new things from watching Tony’s demo. I don’t usually hold the clay at eye level but I can see that’s a good way to pull it…I expect my handles will be better. Thanks!

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